An Ode to Protein

Thank you all for your patience because I had a very relaxing evening last night with Eric! I barely lifted a finger and got a chance to use a heating pad that I got earlier. Heating pads are probably some of the greatest things known on this earth. Well, maybe heating blankets, but I unfortunately have never used one to know!! I can only imagine though…. (wait…what about a heated Snuggie?? Please someone make those!!)

It’s just sometimes I feel like I do not do/eat anything interesting during the day, or it is all extremely repetitive. This usually unmotivates me, and I think the solution is to mixing up what I do and eat! I think it will do good for me to experience different things and step outside my comfort zone with food I know and love. Yes, I am aware that I have been preaching this to myself for quite sometime, but I am going to vow to start doing it!

So, topic of discussion today:

*Protein*

I believe protein is an imperative part of any healthy diet. I got really into protein when I started running to aid in the repair of muscle. Since I have not really gone on a legitimate run in 3 weeks (AHHHH!!!) I am looking at protein in a whole new light.

The Center For Disease Control and Prevention defines protein as follows:

“Protein is a part of every cell, tissue, and organ in our bodies. These body proteins are constantly being broken down and replaced. The protein in the foods we eat is digested into amino acids that are later used to replace these proteins in our bodies.”

While this part of the definition is still important to me as I am continuing to strength train throughout my injury (more on this “injury” later)—although I’ve been MAJORLY slacking lately—I am mostly trying to incorporate protein into every meal in the effort to keep me full longer and slow down my digestion.

I am that person that will eat food if it is in front of them. Regardless of hunger level or what it is really. If it’s in front of me it will be in my stomach in two seconds. So basically I am a grazer. Big time. Me and Winnie are both notorious eaters.

Since I have not been getting nearly enough cardio in these past weeks, I have been really trying to pay attention to my body and recognize when it’s really hungry. Most of the time I am just bored and want to eat. I am trying to get rid of this feeling all together by eating a high protein diet.

I am also trying to add in as much fiber into my diet as possible for the same “full” feeling.

For example, I knew I wanted oatmeal this morning, but that’s not really chock full of protein. So I decided to take a cue from Janetha and make protein oats! Although I’m pretty sure I suck at it, as the protein did not dissolve entirely throughout. This breakfast not only had protein but it also had some fiber as well!! Two birds with one stone I tell ya.

IMG_1454

  • 1/3 c of oats
  • 1/2 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • half a sliced banana
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (Almond Breeze brand)
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • Topped with Better n’ Peanut Butter (more protein YAY) and pumpkin flax granola

Okay. This was pretty darn good. Protein chunks aside. I will definitely be making this again, and hoping to really perfect the art of making protein oats!

Of course I incorporated protein into my morning snack! Like I always do 🙂

IMG_1455(snow covered puffin sighting)

about 1/2 cup of non-fat Greek yogurt with kashi go lean, peanut butter puffins and pumpkin flax granola

Now you all know how much I love me some Greek yogurt. Probably a little too much. With good reason though. Did you know that 1 cup of Greek yogurt provides 120 calories and a killer 22 grams of protein!!! I mean that is an INSANE amount of protein! So far that is protein=2, hunger=0!!!!

My lunch was along the same lines filling the fiber and protein needs.

IMG_1456

High fiber tortilla with 2 egg whites/1 egg, spinach, laughing cow wedge with carrots and zucchini on the side.

IMG_1457

Mustard most definitely made an appearance after this photo was snapped.

Afternoon snack, not so much, but hey, I still have dinner yet!

Snack in the form of crack.

IMG_1459 (so what, I like to kiss my Synergy?)

Hey Synergy/G.T. you wanna help a girl out with her addiction? 🙂

So how much protein should you have each day?

According to the Harvard School of Public Health,

“There is no one-size-fits-all answer to that question, and research on the topic is still emerging. The Institute of Medicine recommends that adults get a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight per day—that’s about 64 grams for a 160 pound adult. In the U.S., adults get an average of 15 percent of their calories from protein; for a person who requires a 2,000-calorie-per-day-diet, that’s about 75 grams of protein.”

To each his own with protein consumption it seems. There are controversies over whether or not too much protein is a bad thing, but really that is all so overwhelming for me, and I’m not sure what to believe. I can’t imagine I suffer from getting TOO much protein, I just like to keep it up there, versus fats and refined carbs.

Lastly,  here are some great forms of high-quality protein to incorporate into your diet thanks to WebMD. Oh and FYI, if someone is a vegetarian it by NO means limits their protein consumption abilities (check out all of the non-meat options below)!

White-Meat Poultry-Stick to the white meat of poultry for excellent, lean protein. Dark meat is higher in fat. The skin is loaded with saturated fat, so remove skin before cooking.

Milk, Cheese, and Yogurt– Not only are dairy foods — like milk, cheese, and yogurt — excellent sources of protein but they also contain valuable calcium. Choose skim or low fat dairy to keep bones and teeth strong, prevent osteoporosis, and enhance weight loss. (Sarah’s shout out to greek yogurt, woot woot)

Eggs-Eggs are one of the least expensive forms of protein. The American Heart Association says normal healthy adults can safely enjoy an egg a day.

Beans- One-half cup of beans contains as much protein as three ounces of broiled steak. Plus, these nutritious nuggets are loaded with fiber to keep you feeling full for hours.

Soy/Tempah- Twenty five grams of soy protein daily can help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Combine soy protein foods like tofu with a healthy low fat diet. ***I know that soy protein is getting a lot of heat these days in the health world. I’m not sure what to believe, but everything in moderation, right?***

Protein on the Go-Grab a meal replacement drink, cereal bar, or energy bar.

Some of my favorites include:

Luna Bars, LaraBars, Pure Bars, Vega Bars, Gnu Bars, Amazing Grass Bars and ZBars (yes I know these are marketed towards children. It ain’t stoppin’ me).

Not all of these have ridiculously insane amounts of protein or fiber, but if you are interested in some high protein/fiber bars, Vega is your best bet with about 10 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber (plus hefty doses of Omega 3’s—but that’s a whole other blog post waiting to happen). If your bank account disagrees (as mine does), Luna bars are a close second with about 9 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber in each bar (these are the exact stats for my favorite flavor, White Chocolate Macadamia).

Speaking of bars, check out the bottom of this post for another blogger’s giveaway!

PHEW. Wow. Okay. I am done with my protein rant!

For dinner I decided to make chicken noodle soup! My poor Eric thinks he is coming down with a little cold/cough, so I wanted to make him something to soothe his throat.

Here are the STAR ingredients!

I diced an onion and a few carrots and celery stalks and sautéed them in a teeny bit o’ butter until they got a bit tender.

Then I added the entire carton of chicken broth and some leftover shredded chicken.

Meanwhile, I cooked up a small amount of noodles and added them to the broth mixture at the end.

Lastly, I added some spices in the form of 21 seasoning salute, salt and garlic powder. I also tossed in some Worcestershire sauce.

Super simple, healthy but all around TASTY! (some protein from the chicken! Fiber from the whole wheat pasta)!

For dessert we each had a phenomenal little drink that Eric made.

Eric’s Super Scandalous Hot Coco.

Yes, I have dubbed it that name. Trust me, it is very scandalous indeed. One day, if you’re lucky, you’ll get that recipe.

Until then….

Frosty is keepin’ his eye on you….

Quick Notes:
Tina at Carrot ‘N’ Cake is hosting a giveaway for Element bars. Click here to check it out!

I mentioned my “knee injury” earlier in this post. Well I am finally going to a doctor on Friday, because my knee is still in pain. I am afraid of what they will tell me, but mostly I just want to know what is causing this pain and how I can make it better. I just want to be active again! I will keep you all posted on this issue.

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3 thoughts on “An Ode to Protein

  1. catrina says:

    PROTEIN! It’s my favorite. My diet protocol requires me to eat 80-120g of protein a day. GBP patients tend to have protein issues. With the amount you know I can eat, that means I spend most of my day concentrating on…eating protein! I try to keep my “calories from” numbers like this: 40-45% protein, 25-30% carbs, 30-35% healthy fats (i do miss french fries! :-P) .

    I refuse most protein powders because if they are low sugar…they are gross to me! (Speaking of which, I have some Kashi vanilla if you want it…it has too much sugar for me but it is tasty) But, if I want to have something that’s not super high protein, like pumpkin oatmeal, for breakfast, I can sneak some unflavored in.

    My other favorites are the ones I listed when you asked about snacks! Also fish…tuna, salmon (omega-3s!). (I struggle with chicken, it’s often too dry!) Do you have a 99 ranch market there? They have beautiful cuts of fish.

    Great entry! I do love me an ode to protein!

    It’s scary that I spend probably a good 20-30% of my time thinking about protein. HA!

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